Cross Effort Marks Change

Watch-Wearing Stick Figures Introduce Sonoma Line
BOSTON–A print campaign for A.T. Cross’ upscale timepieces marks a dramatic departure from the venerable pen maker’s previous advertising efforts.
Featuring sardonic headlines and hand-drawn stick figures, the $2 million campaign crafted by Pagano Schenck & Kay in Boston introduces the Sonoma line of watches.
“Cross has a conservative, straight-laced image,” explained Jeff Davis, director of sales for Cross’ timepiece division. “We’re really trying to bring the whole company to a different level. We wanted to do something fun.”
Each of five ads show a stick figure wearing a Sonoma watch against a white background. “It won’t land you tons of dates. It’s a shame, too, because you’d have been on time,” reads one line of copy situated at the top of the page. The executions draw a link to the Cross name: “From the world’s premier pen maker, a line of functionally elegant Swiss watches.”
“It’s very much an attitude of anti-fashion fashion,” said PSK executive creative director Woody Kay. The message is that the watch is an elegant, functional piece that keeps superb time, not an ornament to make the wearer glamorous or cool, he said.
The Lincoln, R.I.-based pen maker last year launched a line of $195-495 watches in ads using an understated approach, which the company wanted to avoid for its new line of timepieces, Davis said. The $495-850 Sonoma line will be available at upscale department, jewelry and specialty stores.
The target audience is a younger, upscale, stylish professional with an urban sensibility. Ads break in September issues of magazines such as GQ, Details, Harper’s Bazaar, Fortune, Boston Magazine, Los Angeles Magazine and New York Times Magazine.